Internet domain issue could affect home security industry

Background: One of the administrative arms of the Internet, ICANN (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is about to permit companies to register a new kind of Internet address replacing the standard “.com” with “.[fill in the blank].” These are called “generic TLDs” for “top level domains.” Examples include .insurance, .app, .jewelry, .search and .book, among others. Since last summer, companies have been invited by ICANN to apply for use of TLDs that might be specific and appropriate for their industries, companies, organizations, etc.

For our industry, a security and alarm company should be able to register “” instead of “” The ability to register “.security” domain names would allow you and members of the security industry to:
  • Instantly let the public know your line of business;
  • Create significant opportunities for targeting, branding and geo targeting; and
  • Add a more intuitive architecture to the Internet.
Cause for concern: Three companies applied to ICANN to operate “.security.” Symantec, one of the companies applying to administer this new program, has requested to operate this new domain of “.security” as a “closed domain,” which means the domain will be operated by a participant exclusively for its own benefit. If a customer were to search for “security” via a web-based search engine, the results would only include those “.security” domains that relate to Symantec products and services. Security and alarm companies would not appear, thus eliminating this important marketing channel.

If ICANN were to grant this request by Symantec, security and alarm companies could be locked out of innovations:
  • Home security companies would not be permitted to select a “” domain name.
  • The potential to optimize search in websites and digital material could be seriously restricted for some time into the future.
  • The “.security” domain could be administered by a company with little to no interest in addressing the needs of the residential and commercial security and alarm industry.
  • A closed “.security” TLD would be anticompetitive as it could give any company with a closed status an unfair advantage in website navigation.
CALL TO ACTION: Take a stand and communicate concerns to ICANN.
ICANN is permitting public comments for a limited window – from now until March 7, 2013. Send a comment to ICANN that “closed generic” domains should not be permitted.” Helpful talking points for your consideration:
  • We support an Internet that is open and focused and has room for the security and alarm industry.
  • Generic words cannot and should not be owned for the exclusive use of one company.
  • A closed generic domain is not in the public interest.
If ICANN permits any company to possess a “closed domain” – including Symantec (a computer company) to use “.security” then the security and alarm industry could be lost.
Closed use of “.security” is not similar to the way “.com,” “.net” and “.org” are used on the Internet daily.
Therefore, we believe a closed generic application for “.security” is anticompetitive and we request that ICANN require applicants for closed generic TLDs to either open the TLD or withdraw for a full refund.

Who to contact at ICANN:
Dr. David Crocker, Chairman of the Board
Mr. Fadi Chehade’, President & CEO
Mr. Cherine Chalaby, Chair of the New gTLD Committee
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
12025 Waterfront Drive, Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90094

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